Nursery World article (9 November 2018)

‘As of 1 April 2018, the optional early years self-evaluation form (SEF), which providers can use to prepare for inspection, will cease to exist. The decision to remove the form follows a review by Ofsted into its effectiveness and whether or not it is needed.

While managers and staff of childcare settings need to be able to evaluate the care and activities their setting provides, and how well they are meeting the learning needs of children to an Ofsted inspector, they do not need to fill in the SEF’

With the ongoing discussions going viral on social media and publications  it is still one of those topics which is constantly being moaned at…What is it? 

Your SEF !

What is reflection and self-evaluation?

We know intuitively that we learn by experience and also that we learn from our mistakes. But research is constantly informing us that without the process of critically thinking about our experiences, and questioning ourselves about what they mean, learning doesn’t really happen. Same for children!

As practitioners we should be evaluating our practice and even ourselves every day to improve. Is there any harm in that? 

What are the issues we have with the SEF?

Is it a TIME issue?

Is it a wording issue?

Or is it both? 

The Early Years Inspection Handbook (2015 ) states that

‘The provider MUST demonstrate how they evaluate their service and strive for continuous improvement’ (pg7)

'The inspector must look at all relevant documentation and see the self-evaluation document if the provider has not already submitted it'(p11)

‘Leaders and managers of settings should have an accurate view of the quality of their provision and know what to improve. This view should be summarised in their self-evaluation. Inspectors will use the self-evaluation to evaluate how well a setting knows its strengths and weaknesses and how it can improve of maintain its high standards’  (pg15)

All the way through this document is confirms that manager and team need to be self-evaluating. So let us embrace we need to do this…let us embrace we WANT to do this.


Why not?

This is your setting and your time to shine. During your inspection  you will be slightly stressed and be very aware of your staff, children, parents and even the inspector on the day so let us use the evaluation to say the following


So What?

Now What?

Thank you Driscoll (1994) for providing us with the simple tool of how to reflect and evaluate.

Looking at what you do, what was the impact and now what are you going to do to change it to improve.

Whatever way you evaluate and reflect, please make sure you do it!

Do not be afraid of your evaluation? We need to reflect to improve!

If you need a little guidance and want some examples on how you are able to show how you evaluate then please clink on the link for the FREE download